Hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms can be physically uncomfortable and emotionally draining all at once. Unlike opiates and stimulants, hallucinogen drug effects tap into whole different areas of the brain. Consequently, hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms differ in type and intensity when compared to other types of drugs.
For most people, coping with hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms can be difficult and at times overwhelming. Since hallucinogens vary in drug type and drug effects, withdrawal symptoms may also vary depending on the type of drug involved.
Understanding how these drugs affect thinking processes can go a long way towards riding out the worst of hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms. In cases where addiction becomes a factor, getting professional treatment help will likely be necessary in order to maintain continued abstinence.
Like all psychoactive drugs, hallucinogens interfere with the brain’s normal chemical processes and over time can actually “rewire” chemical pathways in the brain. Withdrawal symptoms develop out of the cumulative effects hallucinogens have on brain chemical functions.
According to the Institute for Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluation, with each drug dose, hallucinogens trigger the release of neurotransmitter chemicals, two of which are glutamate and serotonin among others. Neurotransmitters act as chemical messengers, sending information to various brain regions as well as throughout the central nervous system.
Hallucinogen effects most target the brain’s cognitive functions, some of which include –
- Thinking processes
- Sensory awareness
- Sensory perception
Once a person stops using, the brain has to relearn how to regulate bodily process in the absence of the drug’s effects. Until it does, a person will experience hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms.
Ways to Cope
Manage Negative Thought Patterns
The chemical imbalances left behind by hallucinogen use will likely leave your thought processes and emotions in a state of disarray after stopping drug use. Keep in mind that the brain is in repair mode so feelings of sadness and anger will only persist for so long.
Chaos and activity characterize drug abuse and addiction. When stopping drug use, try to establish a daily routine. Doing so will help keep your mind off using drugs.
Connecting with Others
Drug abuse breeds a lifestyle of its own. Spending time with friends and family (who don’t use drugs) is a good way to back into a normal, drug-free lifestyle.
When using drugs, it’s likely dietary concern were the furthest from your mind. Hallucinogens take a toll on the body’s overall health, so eating a healthy diet during the withdrawal stage can go a long way towards easing the withdrawal process along.
As tempting as it may be to take a “hit,” doing so will only set you back at square one. Over-the-counter remedies, such as ibuprofen and Pepto-Bismol do a good job at helping to ease uncomfortable hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches and gastrointestinal distress.
In cases of full-blown addiction, hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms may well be too much to bear on your own. Under these conditions, it’s best to consider entering a detox treatment program. Treatment programs specialize in helping addicts overcome hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms so they can make it through this most difficult stage of recovery.
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